Today, my niece turned 18.  She is the second to do so.  I also have a 21-year-old niece.  There is nothing like seeing others grow up to realize that you no longer can pretend to be young.  It’s really quite amazing to see someone grow up into an adult right in front of your eyes.  It’s also a surreal week as last week I witnessed the burial of a dear friends father.  Life. Death. Growth. That’s what we are surrounded by, yet we constantly get caught up in the mundane. We do not realize how lucky we are to have the ones we have in our lives.  We ignore that we are all beautiful souls who are just here temporarily and perhaps instead of really enjoying each others presence, we let the worry of money, work and conflict drive each day.

I realize that I am being preachy so perhaps I need to switch from We to I.  This is my daily journey. Each morning, I have been waking up and really trying to spend some time with myself. It’s as if I have become a stranger to myself. So many random thoughts swirling around, and I see that a majority of them are negative.  I see that I am creating so much negative energy, and so now I try to refocus. It has led me to know how lucky I am to have met my friend’s father one last time before he passed.  To be touched by the earth in my hands as I bid him farewell on his new journey, and to be blessed to have known him and his daughter.  I also could not be more proud of my friend’s husband, a new father and a relatively new son-in-law, who took care of the family as his own. It was truly inspiring to see him be there for them.

I am surrounded by love, pain, grief, anger, but most importantly inspiration. If I could just allow myself to see life as what it really is, I would be a better person for it. It is a continuous teacher, lover, and philosopher.  So today as I wish my niece a beautiful birthday, I also wish my dear friend and her family a beautiful day in memory of their luck in having uncle in their lives. I know I feel blessed with the people in my life.

Family, Myself


English: Class of '08
English: Class of ’08 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Yesterday, I went to my niece‘s high school graduation. Just writing those words makes me feel old. The entire family went, and boy were we noticed when we screamed at hearing her name.  I have always loved the good-natured competitiveness that takes over families as they try to be the loudest, but I have to admit with our numbers, it was no competition. We were the loudest, and as I screamed I couldn’t but help remember at all the graduations my poor family had to attend because of me. High School. UCLA. Southwestern Law School.  Each time they went with the same amount of enthusiasm and numbers. It was as if my graduations were part of theirs. I realize now that graduations are a recognition of the family’s contributions. Sure. my niece and I put in the hard work, but really it was because of the energy and love given to us by our families.


My beautiful niece face swelled with happiness when she heard us, and in that moment I knew that we were all celebrating her achievement as well as ours.  Sounds a bit selfish perhaps, but there are moments in life when you know what you are doing is not just for you but for the people in your lives.  I also couldn’t help picturing my niece in diapers, and as old as I felt, I was just so utterly proud of her accomplishment that it didn’t matter that I had aged. It just felt right that I got to be there.  Sometimes that’s all that matters.  Being there to see the special moments that you will remember forever. Happy graduation, honey. I love you!